Lives of the fellows

Robert James Young

b.11 July 1917 d.23 October 1991
MB BCh BAO Belf(1942) MRCP(1949) MD(1950)FRCP(1974)

Robert Young was the son of Robert James Young, a master printer, and his wife Ellen, née Finlay, the daughter of a farmer. After schooling in Northern Ireland he proceeded to study medicine at Queen’s University, Belfast.

On graduation he became a house officer at Belfast City Hospital before entering the RAF medical branch. He took an extended service commission and remained in the RAF until 1950. Initially he saw service in the Far East but was invalided to the UK in 1946. He remained at RAF Halton where he became a medical specialist. In 1950 he returned to Northern Ireland and was appointed to the post of principal tutor in child health at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, where the excellence of his teaching was widely acknowledged.

In 1954 he was appointed consultant paediatrican in the Western health and social services board area in Northern Ireland, based at Londonderry. His peripheral clinic visits to Omagh and Enniskillen took him through some of the most beautiful countryside in Northern Ireland and he greatly enjoyed using smaller roads to visit clinics, and in so doing learn more of the countryside he loved so much.

During most of his 28 years as consultant paediatrician he was solely responsible for service provision in the Western board area and he had the assistance of a consultant colleague only a short time before he retired.

Robert Young’s leisure interests included horticulture and golf. In both he was most successful. Thanks to Robert’s generosity, many Red Cross meals-on-wheels ladies were pleased to present exotic plants and flowers to their charges at Christmas time. His interest in sport was lifelong; at university he captained the soccer team and in later life golf was an abiding interest. In retirement he spent each winter in Spain where he could enjoy his golf in a more equable climate. He was a most generous host to friends and colleagues who could join him there for a short holiday over the winter months.

He married Mary Hill Wilson, daughter of a farmer, in 1946 and they had three children: Elizabeth, a lecturer in geography in Staffordshire; John, a solicitor in the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Belfast and Robin, an associate professor in pathology at Massachussets General Hospital, Boston, USA.

A J Keegan

[Brit.med.J., 1992,304,1439]

(Volume IX, page 611)

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